For Addie’s second Christmas I spent hours laboring over a slideshow-making program, perfectly timing photos with festive music to use as our holiday cards. It just didn’t seem right to have only one photo on a card when my first child had just experienced an entire year of life in the last year. So our cards were 10-minute-long DVDs — labor intensive and quite expensive.
What’s worse is half the people I sent them to didn’t even have a computer or DVD player that could view the holiday greetings I had worked so hard to produce. Life in 2005 was technologically bleak.
Christmas cards are always a form of contention in our house. There’s such a delicate balance of expense vs. originality and timing vs. methods. In a perfect world I would be happy if I got a card in the mail that somehow managed to make it to my family before Christmas Day.
But there has to be something special about the card! A photo! Matching sweaters! A desire that puts off the mailing of the cards because when is everyone going to be around and in a fair mood to take said matching-sweater photo? BUT! Only one photo? It’s 2013! One photo to sum up an entire year seems like an awfully lofty and big goal, so we’re back to the DVD idea. Or maybe skip the DVD and go straight to YouTube? Meh, who wants to get a card that tells them to go to YouTube? No one, that’s who. (Especially my parents.)
So here are the biggest factors in failed Holiday Card mailings:
1. Not having the right photo to include.
2. Timing: Too close to Thanksgiving and you’ll look a little too eager. Too close to Christmas and your cards won’t make it until New Year’s.
3. Expense: Photo sessions are expensive, fancy designer cards are even more expensive and postage can be crazy expensive depending on the card you choose to send.
4. Originality: Let’s face it, you judge your friends based on the holiday cards they mail. Even when you can’t even get your wits about you to even put a stamp on a card you still find yourself judging those who manged to pull off a well timed card. It’s a vicious cycle.
Which means the biggest issue facing my Christmas cards this year is how do I maintain originality without upping the expense and drawing out the entire process?
HP calls it technology, I’m just going to call it magic.
The best way to describe HP Live Photo is to show you, and yes, this will involve some audience participation, but it will be worth it, I swear. Download the free HP Live photo app on your iOS or Android device, once downloaded choose “View a Live Photo.” In the bottom where it says ‘Search for a Nametag’ put in ‘mooshinindy.’ Once you’re connected to me hold your device up so you can see the photo below in your screen:
Now, if it worked you should have just seen a little slideshow I put together in movie making software and uploaded to HP Live Photo. I’ve printed out copies of the photo and will include one in each of my Christmas cards with the simple instructions I gave you above. Not only will my friends and family have this perfectly accurate picture to hang on their mantle, they’ll also have the ability to watch my little slideshow over and over with the HP Live Photo app.
While I chose to do a slideshow, you could just as easily (if not more easily) use a video of your kids wishing everyone a joyous holiday season. The app will give the option of multiple stills from your video that you can use as your printed photo. You can even forgo the card and print your holiday greetings right on a pre-desgined template like I did below, it looks just like traditionally printed card — but with the extra special ability of producing a video with sound up to 45-seconds long when viewed on a mobile device. (You can watch this one, too!)
Are you convinced? This changes the card and photo sending game forever.
I can’t wait to see what people do with it, nor can I wait to find another opportunity to use the app itself.